Louisville Magazine

MAR 2014

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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2 0 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.14 thebit ROADS cross I n the original surveyor's layout for what was then the perfectly rectangular settlement of Portland, this intersection — known to early Portlanders as High (Northwestern Parkway) and Fulton (33rd) streets — was the grid's southeast corner. In 1818, an angled turnpike road to Louisville, subsequently named Port- land Avenue, was added to the street scheme, creating the frst elbow in what would eventu- ally become three mismatched grids in tandem following the bend in the Ohio. Both 33rd and Northwestern are unusually wide streets — six lanes wide, as founder Wil- liam Lytle wanted them — so the intersection has great breadth. You would never guess that 33rd would end abruptly a block and a half north and, the other way, a couple of blocks south, at Bank Street. (Pieces of its continu- ation reappear west of a giant K&I switching yard.) Te north terminus is the result of the Army Corps of Engineers foodwall (really a cement berm) underneath I-64. Northwestern Parkway also ends abruptly, at 31st Street, only to reappear a few blocks east — another chop- shop victim of the K&I and foodwall. On the intersection's northwest corner stands the Portland Library, built with Carnegie money in 1913. Across Northwestern from the library is a handsome 19th-century building that served as the Toll Bridge Inn a few years ago and now houses some kind of used-goods store. Donna Lee's Hair Salon and the Portland Baptist Church rule the wedges of real estate created by the arrow of Portland Avenue. Northwestern Parkway and 33rd Street www.redcross.org/louisville It's a decidedly urban streetscape, but there's a pastoral gem nearby. Go ahead — head up 33rd to the foodwall; climb its rea- sonably gentle slope and take a gander at the other side. Laid out before you, made fully accessible by a picturesque section of the Louisville Riverwalk, is Portland Wharf Park — an expanse of cleared land and woods that once upon a time was dotted with homes and farms and river-trade businesses and trolley tracks and shanty boats. To your right is the huge, blackened K&I Bridge, and beyond it, the McAlpine Locks. Do visual surprises get any better than this? I don't think so. — JW 12-25 BIT.indd 20 2/19/14 9:54 AM

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